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Review: Kamen Rider Alchemy Chapters 1-2 · 4:05am Oct 26th, 2019

Video made by the Bricklayer.

So, shall we begin again?

Let's start by addressing the obvious question, what is Kamen Rider? Kamen Rider is a Japanese Superhero franchise started in the 70s by Shotaro Ishinomori. The franchise tells the story of the Kamen Riders, heroes who fight against monsters of various kinds, and even against other Riders at times in order to protect the world from threats. Despite having different main characters and monsters, they all share common design traits and themes. Ultimately, Kamen Rider goes down to this idea of protecting others by using the same power as their enemies, proving that it can be used for good or evil.

This is a legacy set down by Ishinomori that still goes on to this day, the current series being Kamen Rider Zero-One. It's an amazing franchise that sadly has not quite translated well to the west unlike Super Sentai and Power Rangers. But where adaptations fail, we can sometimes get fanfics such as this one.

Kamen Rider Alchemy is the brainchild of Layton13, a friend and fellow Kamen Rider fan. He based the story on Equestria Girls and it's use of magic to create monsters. Given the typical nature of Neo Heisei monsters as being transformed humans, this works surprisingly well. It's a well done combination.

There's a lot to go through in this story, and I hope you enjoy it.

Rebirth of a Hero - Awaken, Kamen Rider Alchemy.

So we begin, as these things tend to, with a lone rider making his way down the road.

It was early spring, the sun shining down onto the surrounding hilltops, birds singing and the wind gently blowing by. On the road leading to the outskirts of a city, a man clad in a black leather jacket, a helmet in the same color, a backpack and jeans, on his maroon motorcycle rides ever closure to its border.

Good Morning Canterlot City to another wonderful day in this lovely place we call home. I’m Open Mike, and I’m your host for the time being. The weather has graced us with pleasant temperatures and a clear sky, so the perfect day to go to the beach and enjoy the first waves of the year, who knows when you have the chance again. Sadly not everyone can go out there and experience the relaxing embrace of the sunlight. So for those of you, like me, that still have to work, here is a local song that surely will cheer you up, the song “Dance Magic” from the Crystal Rainbooms, enjoy.” The radio in his helmet began picking up the local radio station and started to play a rather catchy song.

Crystal Rainbooms was later discontinued in favor of Rainbooms classic.

Of course this is our first look at our hero Phoenix Feather, the titular Kamen Rider Alchemy. A little bit of translation notes for you, Kamen Rider translates as Masked Rider from Japanese. This is actually what they called the first attempt to adapt the franchise to America, and, well it didn't go well. But we're not here to talk about that, we're here to talk about this story and it's take on the Kamen Rider formula.

Phoenix makes his way into Canterlot and passes by suburbs and a very familiar looking school where some students are outside already on a break. If I have any comment on this section is that he tends to focus a lot on details here that don't seem particularly relevant. While it does make the world feel more detailed, it also seems rather overdone. Not that big of a deal though.

And here we get to one of the more important locations in the story:

A few turns later he had stopped before a restaurant, named the “Magnum Opus Pizzeria” in bright red letters with a golden outline and a black background. The pizzeria had a glass door with big windows to each side of it. The walls were made of sandstone bricks and so had the color of sand. Under the nameplate of the restaurant, the slogan could be read: “Magnum Opus Pizzeria, we make your wildest dreams come true!”. A small blackboard stood right next to the door, and someone had written: ” Create your dream combo, combine all our ingredients and create your Magnum Opus!”, under the sentence, a rather long list of different fruits, mushrooms, meat and other ingredients were listed.

Oh, my bad, he seems to have taken a wrong turn somewhere and wound up at Jungle Karma Pizza.

Jokes aside, he's reached his destination, the Magnum Opus Pizzeria. The restaurant itself is fairly simple, but seems to be popular among the locals. Its somewhat rustic and a rather nice sounding place. Interestingly enough, this is something of an occasional trend in Kamen Rider and other Tokusatsu, having at least some of the heroes be either based out of or visit a restaurant regularly.

And moving on, he meets one of the workers at the Magnum Opus... okay, the only worker other than the owner.

A young woman, dressed in a blue t-shirt and a brown apron with the “Magnum Opus”-logo on it started to move towards him. Her electric blue hair was bound in a ponytail and mixed well with her bright yellow skin. She was leaning against a wall and didn't seem to be thrilled about the new visitor until she put on a smile and moved towards the newcomer.

“Good morning sir, do you have a reservation, if not we currently have no free tables, I’m really sorry.”

"And if you're looking for RJ, you're looking for Jungle Karma Pizza down the street."

However, Phoenix is actually there to meet with the owner, Thunder Cloud. The waitress starts to tell him that Thunder is busy and is expecting someone, only to be interrupted by Thunder who greets Phoenix warmly.

Then he rushed towards him and began crushing him in a tight bearhug. “It’s so good to see you got here without any incidents, you know since that isn’t always sure with you,” Thunder basically shouted this next to Phoenix’s ear, all while steadily increasing the intensity of his hug.

Phoenix was first overwhelmed by his brother, but that wasn’t anything out of the usual, this quickly shifted into happiness to see his little brother and turned into frantically trying to get lose from him because he was feeling the air being hugged out of him. “Thunder. Thunder! Please … air … need … it … now!” Was all Phoenix could croak out.

Maybe a little too warmly.

So yeah Thunder releases Phoenix finally and puts the waitress, Summer, in charge of running things. Needless to say she is just thrilled about this given that she's inexperienced and the restaurant is busy. Did I mention that she's the only one that works there other than Thunder. Anyway, Thunder reassures her and tells the customers that they're being placed in the care of Summer Breeze while he talks with his brother.

Huh... guess Winter Breeze had a sister in this universe.

Apparently, Summer had finally realized what had just happened and looked like she had just been instructed to kill an ancient demon that wanted to destroy the world.

This is Equestria Girls meets Tokusatsu, this would not be the most ridiculous thing to happen.

They go upstairs to the loft area which is pretty well decorated. Thunder apparently really likes pizza given some of his decorations. And, yeah, I gotta bring this up here. While Alchemy is a good story, it has a lot of typos such as ding table instead of dining. The story is good, but I honestly think Layton needs to get an editor, or at least a spell check. Sorry Layton, but I gotta be honest with you on that one, just work on it in the future.

Phoenix is impressed with what his brother has managed to accomplish, and then we actually learn some more about the story:

“Oh come on, are you still sour about grandpas decision? You know very well that this the biggest chance to complete a Disc in years, if not centuries, you can’t blame him, he has sworn to fulfill our family legacy. And look at the bright side, the old geezer can’t bug you here as much as he did back home. This will be quite refreshing and relax for you, and I know how much you like that.” The black-haired man replied to his brother while leaning back and starting to smile.

“Oh yeah, I replaced the old geezer for his loyal lapdog, I’m sure in heaven.” The biker jokingly returned. One skeptical look from Thunder was all Phoenix needed to paddle back. “I’m joking, man, you should know that. It is nice to see you again after three years. So how many hearts have you captured with your pizzas? How many taste buts have you conquered and how many magnum opuses created?”

“Oh, what interesting question, I have spread my art through the city and have captured the hearts of many with my mouth watering treats of delinquent flavors. I have fought the crime against art that is fast food and have shown time and time again that the old and refined skills of a craftsman are superior in any way then the hacks that make these, atrocities to cooking, obviously not talking about those burger-artists. I have created a safe haven for true food, one that in times like these is increasingly difficult to find and preserve. And my lovely customers are the reward I receive, I could not be happier.” In the middle of his little rant about the “true art of cooking” he had stood up, raising one arm towards the sky, more so the ceiling, as if imitating a play, his brother just smiling at him.

Oh crap, we've got a pizza themed supervillain!

The mention of the disks is going to be important later. This is of course connected to the events of the story, and we'll get into the explanation later. It's all connected to both the Kamen Rider side of things, but uses the Equestria Girl side of the crossover to full effect.

Anyway, Thunder tells him that he's going to have to pull his weight around the restaurant if he wants to live there. That's understandable, heck actually answers how the main character gets paid and where he lives. Phoenix doesn't seem exactly enthusiastic about it, but agrees without bribes, even if they would've been appreciated. Thunder offers to either make a pizza or sing, and, well, Phoenix really doesn't like that idea.

Still think I was joking about the supervillain thing?

And now... more plot details!

“I knew this was coming, yes I have the stupid Driver in my backpack,” Pointing at the backpack he had dumped right next to himself on the couch. “as well as the Discs, all intact and unharmed. What were you expecting, me dumping them on the road and just leaving? I don’t care for these things, but I’m not dumb enough to do that, even if they are only useful as paperweights.” With that, he opened the bag and threw six white discs and a rectangular metallic object towards his brother, who frantically managed to catch all of them. The square object resembled somewhat a belt buckle, just with a five-centimeter pol sticking out of the middle, on each side was a crescent moon shaped elevation surrounding the rod.

Are you insane! Do you know what could have happened if I didn’t catch them? They could have been damaged! Do you really not care about family heirlooms that have been passed down for centuries, the most important things our family possesses. Can’t you just show a little bit of respect, you are the guardian, it is your duty, treat the Driver and the Discs with the respect they deserve,” his brother began to belittle him.

“Sorry, but look, they are fine, no damage, nothing, I’m careful.” While Phoenix was talking Thunder examined the Driver and the six Discs thoroughly. “And don’t come me with the family legacy bollox again, we have had them for six hundred years and still have not recreated one of the Discs. I will not complete one and in the next hundred years, no one will. This world just lacks the magic to charge them even if you claim this town has shown an affinity for magic, the chance of another phenomenon appearing here that is actually usable are minuscule. Can’t we just leave the stuff in a save and forget about it?”

“No, we can not, especially not in Canterlot City, a place which in the past year had four magical anomalies occur. The first at one of the local Highschool, CHS, during there Fall Formal, a beam of rainbow light was seen rising up from the school and was documented, that was the time gramps send me here to look for magical activity. The second incident, again at CHS, had something to do with there “Battle of the Bands”, a competition between, well bands, ended rather different then they had expected, three ethereal horse-fish-hybrid-things were seen in the sky, multiple other magical constructs were flown around and a giant etherial alicorn could be seen kilometers away, I’m quite sure this was equestrian in origin. I was just crossing by on the street and I saw it with my own eyes. And with the third anomaly, again at CHS, reality itself had been pulled apart and rifts opened to a world with ponies, I assume Equestria. Some students managed to take some pictures of what happened and it was thoroughly discussed in the entire city. And the last incident, surprisingly not at CHS but at the local mall, was when a girl turned into a three-meter big woman and scaring everyone there, saw it myself, disrupted my shopping day. You have a high chance of running into a magical incident, so please take this seriously.”

Yep, that's right, Canterlot has become a magnet for trouble, but more importantly magic. And no one who has ever watched Equestria Girls is surprised.

Okay, might as well explain the Driver thing. A Driver, usually a belt, is the transformation device used by Kamen Riders to transform into their Rider forms. While the term Driver hasn't always been used, this is a fairly standard transformation device that goes back to the original Kamen Rider series. Alchemy is the first chronological Rider or other superhero in this universe, so you might be wondering where all this comes from in universe. Well, that will be explained in time.

So, yeah, Phoenix is here in order to gather magical energy for the discs. And also they know about Equestria, there's a lot of questions that are raised by this. So, will Phoenix be able to finish the discs? That we will learn later, it's quite a fun story really and fits in the style. Clearly they've also been trying to do this for generations with no luck. Magic is complicated like that, not that much of a surprise that it took them this long really.

And of course, these two are brothers so they decide to get super competitive right away.

Anyway, Phoenix starts his job at the Magnum Opus so he has a lot to get used to, but adapts to it quickly. That being said, apparently the pizzeria has some very weird toppings including bananas. I wasn't joking when I compared this to the Jungle Karma Pizzeria from Jungle Fury, Layton is a big fan.

“So you are the big brother of the boss? He sometimes spoke of you, you are supposed to be a real slacker.“

“Great, my brother apparently only talks about my best parts, did he also tell you about my unbelievable good looks, my stellar personality or my unrivaled humor?” She just stared at him with a skeptical look. “Well in regards to the rest of my family at least, it is all a matter of perspective really.”

“No, but he talked about the pranks you pulled on your grandfather and to be quite honest they do sound kind of fun.”

“Oh, so he did talk about my good parts, I knew it.” Phoenix triumphantly exclaimed.

“And about the punishments, you received afterward, the one where you had to scrub the entire basement with a toothbrush was my favorite.”

With this Phoenix deflated visibly, all the confidence he had mere moments ago gone. “Of course he did, that is so up his ally. But you will see, revenge will be mine!” And with that, the confidence that had disappeared for only a few seconds was back again. Apparently, nothing could keep the guy down.

Yeah... apparently Phoenix was quite the prankster. But hey, he sounds like fun at least, better than some of the other Riders I can think of.

Apparently, Summer is very much reminded of Thunder the more she knows about Phoenix. And she's pretty sure that she's going to go crazy. This is going to end badly. But yeah, it seems like they're going to get along just fine, if only to drive Thunder insane. Again, this is gonna end badly.

So yeah, they start to go back into work just as Thunder comes rushing in and pulls Phoenix up the stairs, leaving Summer confused as to what's going on. So, what is going on? I'll let you read for yourselves:

The screen showed a view from, apparently, a helicopter hovering over a small paved piazza with a water fountain in the middle of the area. But the place was not the important part, what was standing on it was. A monster, drenched in a fiery orange was laughing maniacally and troughing fireballs at everything that didn’t get out of the way fast enough. The beast measured roughly about two and a half meters and was towering over everyone trying to run away from it. The claws that it had on its feed were shining an energetic yellow and digging into the pavement. The legs were extremely muscular and could probably even dent steal. A lump yellow-orange fur was visible on the monster's chest, which in turn only made it look even more intimidating. On its arms, small wristbands could be seen, both of which helped crimson gems with ethereal flames extending off of them. It had the head of a lion if the mane would have been replaced with actual fire. Its mouth was equipped with vicious fangs that could tear a human in half. The entire horror was completed with a small heading, again with a crimson gemstone embedded within it, that glowed with fierce red energy.

“I’m Wide Lens your trusty reporter from CCTV, and we are not afraid to show you the truth, even in situations like this. Out of nothing this … this monster has appeared in the middle of our beloved city out of nowhere. We currently have no information on what it is and how it appeared here but seeing this beast with my own eyes I can assure you it does not come in peace. In the last five minutes, it has rampaged from a small park to this piazza and left a path of destruction behind. Something like this has our city never seen before. If it continues its current path the Change Industries headquarters will suffer horrific damage, not forgetting the possibility of human casualties if this thing is not stopped.”

"This has been plot convenience news, reporting the news since Amazons Attack."

Also, Change Industries... remember that for later.

So yeah, there's been a monster attack on the city. And this is where we get to the actual Kamen Rider aspects of the story, the Monster of the Week formula. Or, rather Monster of the Weeks since they have actually been doing two parter storylines ever since Kuuga, which Alchemy replicates. In this case the monsters are called the Corrupted, humans who have been transformed into monsters by magical artifacts.

This is actually a fairly common plot device in Kamen Rider, especially in the Neo Heisei era as I said before. There are notable exceptions that avert it or do it with a twist on it such as Drive and Wizard. There is actually a lot of parallels to Wizard here, but we'll get to that later.

So yeah, the first monster has appeared, and while there is the obvious reference to Equestria Girls, it's been applied to the Kamen Rider formula here. And yeah, Thunder thinks that Phoenix should go fight the monster, but Phoenix is understandably reluctant to do so.

“Magical? No, nononono! Absolutely not, are you insane? I’m not doing it!” Apparently, Phoenix had picked up on what his brother was suggesting.

“You have to, it's your duty as the keeper to look for magical anomalies and drain them of their magic.”

“I know, but I didn’t sign up for fighting monsters. How am I supposed to do anything about that thing, I’m toast before I can even get close to it. I’m not suicidal.”

“You have the Discs, and if you had actually paid attention when gramps explained the mechanics of them to you, you would know that they can absorb magical energy. It doesn’t matter in which form, attack or artifact, they can suck in all magic.”

“Oh, I listened, and I remember that the only one that attempted to absorb an attack was electrocuted to death. If you are so insistent on going, take it, be my guest and through your life away for such a foolish legacy,” he now began to shout.

Thunder remained calm and continued: “You are the guardian, you have sworn to protect and recreate the Discs. You know secrets to them I was never told, I’m your assistant, you, however, have the responsibility and knowledge to carry on the history of our family. Right now you are the only hope the people that are currently in danger have if you sit here and cower in fear there blood is on your hands. So are you man enough to do your part, as guardian of our family legacy or for the people that need your help, or are you the failure grandfather always saw you as, because I think I know what you are.”

Clinching his fist together he exclaimed: “Dammit! You are right, I hate it when you are right! I can’t let these people take the fall for my cowardliness, even if this plan is downright stupid, I just couldn’t live with me anymore. Why do you know me so well? That’s unfair.”

His brother just chuckled: “I knew you would do the right thing.”

Needless to say, that finally gets Phoenix to get off his butt and actually do his duty as the main... err, I mean as the guardian. He heads out towards Change Industries' headquarters in Canterlot.

When we get there however, yeah, the Monster has... issues.

Run, run to your masters, little slaves of this oppressive system. But I, I have been granted the power to live free of its limitations. I’m Napalm, and I have cast off the shackles of captivity and have become something beyond you puny humans. I’m a god that no one can challenge!”

Dear Celestia, he's a Corrupted version of Firebrand from Battle for Bludhaven.

Uh, yeah this guy is nuts and he has a personal vendetta against Change Industries. Unfortunately, he's also completely lost his mind as a result of the process that made him a monster. He basically is trying to firebomb the building as he has, you know, fire powers. The police are unable to do anything to actually help, which again isn't unusual for this kind of story, but we'll get more into their involvement later.

And this, is where Phoenix steps in. He uses the fire disc to absorb the monster's attack, and it changes to resemble a spinning flame. At this point we get a flashback to him learning how to use the Driver from his Grandfather, and now, Napalm is about to face the full fury of a Rider.




Whit that a fiery whirlwind began to encircle Phoenix, starting from his feet reaching up to his waist and finally arriving at his head. The fireball Napalm had thrown at him just exploded as it hit the flames that spun around him. After a few seconds, the flame-whirlwind burst away and revealed, that instead of the burned man that stood in the spot mere moments ago now an armor-clad warrior had taken his place.

The armor was made out of crimson material. His feet were armored through boots with a slick design that ended into a spike at his knee, decorated with golden details. At his waist, a cape that reached to his knees and grew ever shorter the more it reached his backside, was build into the armor and held by the belt, its edges accented with gold. All over his breastplate were small lines of gold worked into the armor, and a symbol that represented fire was present on his left chest. His shoulder plates looked like flames that were blowing in the wind and ended in ridged edges. The gloves had a golde line on them were the went over into the rest of the armor. Green bug-shaped eyes stared at the beast, while the rest of the helmet was primarily red, with a metallic mouthguard. Two golden crescent horns extended from above the eyes, both with a flame motif worked into them.

Phoenix felled an incredible power rushing through him, his arms that had mere moments ago, hurt in nearly unbearable agony felt like nothing had ever happened to them. He even felt better than before, this was not comparable to anything he had ever experienced. Like he was for the first time truly alife.

This is as good a time as any to discuss the design aesthetic and inspiration for Kamen Rider Alchemy. Alchemy is in some ways an homage to Kamen Rider Kuuga, the first rider of the Heisei era. While many of Alchemy's forms are obviously different, there are obvious parallels to Kuuga's design including the use of the classical elements. But most importantly in this case is the design motif. Both Alchemy and Kuuga have a Stag Beetle motif:

The design is really well done and a nice tribute to the first of the Heisei Riders. For a little bit more backstory, Kuuga was the first Kamen Rider series following a 10 year hiatus following Black RX. Likewise, Alchemy is meant to be the first of this universe. Its a good tribute to Kuuga in that regard.

Anyway, moving on. Yeah... things are about to go down. Napalm is understandably confused given that he's never seen anything like this before, and his god complex is still in full force. When he demands who he is, well, we get the first actual mention of the name:

The man in the crimson armor quietly walked out onto the street and stared at the monster. Remembering back to one of his grandfather lessons and broke the silence: “I’m Kamen Rider Alchemy, specifically Kamen Rider Alchemie Flame Mode! And I’m here to put you out.”

Yeah... work on your catch phrase Phoenix. That was kinda cheesy.

Quite understandably Thunder is excited about this. This is their family legacy, what they've been working towards for generations and Phoenix has finally accomplished it. Whether or not this is a good thing, is complicated really. He can fight monsters now sure, but at the same time there will always be obligations that are set down by the family. This will be delved into later in the story however.

Anyway, several cheesy lines later, the fight is interrupted by the arrival of the Police and Napalm running off. And then, this happens:

Hearing police sirens coming closer, he figured that his best option was to get his bike and hightailed out of here because he wasn’t too interested in explaining the police about everything that had happened and didn’t want to lose the Alchemie Driver. Thankfully he had parked his bike far enough from the monster that it wasn’t damaged by the attacks of it. The moment he touched his crimson motorcycle a fiery light erupted from it. After the light had died down enough that one could see again without being temporarily blinded something different had taken its place. It was still a motorbike but looked entirely different. The rims had changed color and were now a bright orange with a flame motif. This was reflective in the rest of the bike, while still crimson it was accented with gold and orange to envoke fire. The exhaust was designed as a burning flame.

Yeah, that's a thing, I actually forgot about this. But in Kamen Rider, the Rider and the bike are almost one, the bike is an extension of the Rider's power. Sometimes literally... also sometimes not a bike, but its usually a bike so I'm just going to say bike.

Anyway, Phoenix returns to the Magnum Opus that evening and Summer gets onto him for forgetting what he was supposedly going out to get earlier. Yeah, this is not going to be easy to keep the truth from her, is it? Thunder being the awesome little brother he is, comes to Phoenix's rescue. And it ends with Phoenix telling Thunder that he owes him a new jacket.

Interlude: The Cross of Fire

"It doesn't matter if I'm not human. Even if I have the same powers as you, I'm not like you. And if you say you want to destroy the world, I will use this power for love and peace. That's the kind of Kamen Rider I believe in!"
-Ryuga Banjo, Kamen Rider Build.

The Cross of Fire as a term comes from one of the earliest concepts for the show by Shotaro Ishinomori. While it was obviously not used in favor of Kamen Rider, the term would later be used in Kamen Rider Wizard's last two episodes to describe the relationship between the Kamen Riders and the villains.

The basic idea is that both the hero and the villain draws power from the same source. While there have been a few shows and movies that don't completely follow it, but most examples in canon and Fanon follow this tradition. It goes back to the original Kamen Rider who was turned into a cyborg by the terrorist organization known as Shocker (now if only we could be rid of Shocker). This would become pretty much the standard for the Showa era and it wasn't until Kuuga that we started to get more examples of the Cross of Fire.

The basic idea of the Cross is that the power can be used for both good and evil. As Ryuga said above, it doesn't matter if the Rider has the same power as the enemy. All that really matters is how they use that power. It's not the power that defines a hero or a villain, it is how they use it. Power is not something that can easily be defined, the best way to look at it is a tool or weapon, and its not about what it is, it's about who uses it.

The Cross of Fire will always be part of what it means to be a Kamen Rider. In the case of Alchemy, it is because both the Rider and the Corrupted draw power from the magical artifacts. It's something to keep in mind when considering Kamen Rider stories.

Chapter 2: Rebirth of a Hero - Flaming Hearth of Justice

I'm fairly certain he means Flaming Heart of Justice... he tends to do that, gotta talk to him about it, but still, good title.

After Phoenix had taken place on the couch and started to stretch his limbs his brother returned to what he actually wanted to discuss with him. “So, how does it feel? Did it hurt? Saw any ancestors that were bound to the driver or discs? Tell me everything!”

Thunder man, calm down, I know you're excited but it's not helping matters

Anyway, Phoenix tells him that the disc pretty much helped with the injuries, but likely that the method they used wasn't practical to create further discs. Yeah, I can see why, having to absorb attacks is just asking for trouble, but hey it got you your first transformation trinket. Welcome to the Henshin Heroes club Phoenix. Your life expectancy has gone from ripe old age to not living to see your next birthday, which is tomorrow.

Phoenix seems a bit incredulous that anyone else might have bonded with the driver or discs for understandable reasons given he was the first to complete any of them. We also get this line:

“I think that was a facade or rather what it wants to be. The thing seems like the standard cliche of a ‘revolutionary’ from a terribly written book. His short temper is only adding to this, but whatever it’s not like we will stumble over it out of sheer luck.”

Further proving my point that Napalm is just Firebrand from Battle for Bludhaven. If Linkara was reviewing this, he'd read his lines in the Superboy Prime voice, look that up and imagine all his lines in that voice, you'll thank me.

And, yeah he realizes he's not just going to be able to stumble on monsters by luck like that. And this wasn't exactly lucky, his first day and he finds a monster trying to destroy Change Industries (in retrospect this may have saved a lot of trouble down the line). I mean sure he did something that his family has tried to do for centuries, so it was kinda lucky. But yeah, I'd stay out of Las Pegasus if that's your idea of being lucky, Phoenix.

Thunder also points out the obvious that he can't put civilians in danger and there's always the risk of the police asking questions since he's technically a vigilante. Phoenix says that they pretty much need to just wait since Napalm is a hot head... pun most likely intended... but yeah, they don't have any other choice at this point.

So we move forward to the next day where Summer is bossing Phoenix around again. Phoenix is having a hard time carrying all the pizzas he's been given due to the orders. Yeah, things aren't exactly going well for Phoenix, he's still kind of getting used to working at a restaurant. And yeah, this is basically Phoenix's rent as he points out so he can't exactly go get another job.

And then we get this line that I find hilarious when Summer suggests that they go jogging:

“Jogging? Doesn't this involve walking or running? I’m not the sports guy, to much stress and doing stuff. Sorry.”

Well, it's a good thing you aren't going to have to do something in this story that requires physical exertion such as fighting monsters.

But he doesn't have a choice in the matter as Thunder comes in and says that they should all go jogging as a team building exercise. Given Phoenix is new to the job, that does kind of make sense. And, yeah as I said he really should keep in shape. And, yeah Phoenix doesn't really have a choice in the matter. Summer snarks on the fact that the decision was made while he was driving around town.

Anyway yeah, Phoenix has to go jogging, but they have to go back to working so he goes to give out the orders. And then, plot convenience news comes back on the air:

“ Like you probably know, this street was the scene of the recent monster attack. The damage from its rampage is still quite visible and if it hadn’t been for the mysterious hero Kamen Rider Alchemie, who knows what would have happened.” While the reporter was saying that a video of the monster flying out of the alleyway was playing in the background. Apparently, they hadn’t been able to see what had happened in the alley and he was thankful for that. The moment Alchemie stepped into the video he felt pride in what he had done. “The police have yet to release an official statement regarding the masked vigilant but we did manage to get an interview with mister Pharynx, the security-chef of Change Industries. And we give the mice to our young reporter Fresh News.” A rather muscular man with dark cyan skin, short, washed out ruby colored hair and a violate suit with amaranth tie could be seen standing next to a young woman with light brown skin and hair that was a darker shade of brown. Her grey suite sold her reporter look.

Oh hey grumpy bug.

“So mister Pharynx, since your employer seemed to be the goal of the attack what have you to say about the prospect of your company being attacked?”

With a rather growly voice, he answered her question: “I’m shocked that someone would attack our company. Sadly it doesn’t matter how much good you do some people will hold grudges against you, how petty they may be, and apparently, our monster from yesterday is one of these people. With the situation as it is I have decided to triple our security forces to make sure our CEO is not harmed by this beast. On that note, our CEO madam Crisela has decided that the damage caused by the monster attack will be covered by our company since it was on its way towards our headquarters it is our responsibility to clean up this mess.”

“What a selfless act by your CEO. I know companies that would not have done this or even thought about the possibility. Next question, what is your opinion on the masked vigilante that calls himself Kamen Rider Alchemy? He stopped the monster before it could reach your company.”

“While we are thankful for his help, we, however, think that any vigilante is acting against the law, so he should confess to the police and ask to help them in the case. If we let comen people take the law into their own hands, we will arrive at an age of …”

Well, the CEO of Change Industries sounds totally trustworthy and not at all evil.

Anyway, Napalm attacks the building again since, that's his thing you know. Phoenix runs out of the Pizzeria and grabs his Driver and starts to transform. And, well someone forgot to tell him to actually make sure that no one is around him when he transforms.

What? You are … How can you … I can’t believe it!” Summer shouted from the depths of her lungs, the most confused she had ever been.

At this moment Phoenix blood froze, he had forgotten that she could simply follow him. He had just revealed his secret identity to someone he didn’t even know for more than a day. And with that, he turned around to face the waitress. “Well, shot. That wasn’t planned.”

Yeah, Summer has found out that Phoenix is Kamen Rider Alchemy. That took a surprising short amount of time, you'd think it would take a few chapters. Oh well, yeah, she's found out. Needless to say, he can't really explain everything to her right now given he has to go stop Napalm because that's his job. He gets on his bike and rides of towards Change Industries again.

And needless to say, Summer is shocked by all of this. I can't possibly imagine why she would be, I mean she just found out that her boss' brother is actually a vigilante superhero.

Anyway, back at the hall of justice, err I mean the Change Industries Building. Chaos has broken out and Pharynx and his security team are trying to fight against Napalm, but in typical Tokusatsu fashion (unless its Kuuga or Drive), it's not very effective. There's a little girl who's in danger because she's close to the monster and... well... she doesn't exactly get rescued by Alchemy.

When suddenly a teenage girl, that had until now observed the situation from a safe distance, had begun rushing towards the girl. Thankfully the red and yellow-haired girl didn’t draw the beats attention, thanks to the attacks of the Change Industrie security forces.

Yep, the little girl was saved by our favorite bacon haired girl Sunset Shimmer. She promises to help the little girl named Sunflower to find her mother. And, yeah Napalm has now spotted them and throws fire at the two girls... only to be intercepted by Phoenix and in an always awesome moment, being hit in the face with the front wheel of his motorcycle.

Yeah, needless to say Napalm is not happy that Phoenix has come out of nowhere to kick his butt. There's some banter and then there's... well... I've always found this part a bit odd and wanted to joke about it in a crossover but haven't gotten a chance.

\ Flame Disc Attack Mode! /

\ Flame Saber! /

After the glow had subsided, the rider was holding a razor-sharp katana in his hand. The blade was forged out of an orange metal with golden patterns resembling flames worked into it, while the handguard had taken the form of the disc. The handle of the sword was wrapped in red cloth bands. Gripping the handle with both hands, he charged towards the raging monster.

Yeah, uh Phoenix, that's not a saber, its a katana. I guess its not the weirdest thing around and he could've just called it a Saber, but darn it its worth joking about!

Anyway, the fight continues and admittedly I'm not very good at summarizing fight scenes. Napalm continues on his ego trip, saying that he's invincible and everything and Phoenix retorts that he has an edge on him. He uses his flame form's fire powers to fight against Napalm... which doesn't really make sense from a scientific standpoint, but this is Kamen Rider so I'm gonna let it pass.

And, well, here we go:

“How? I … I’m a god. I can’t be beaten! I can’t!

“Napalm, you have used the power you were given to harm innocent people, destroy what others hold dear and glorify yourself as a god. By the magic that was bestowed upon me, I deem you unworthy of your powers and will now take them from you!” He grabbed the handguard of the Flame Saber, which in turn began to glow again. Holding the flame disc again in his hands he put it back in the driver and started to spin it again.

\ Flame Disc Maximum Power! /

The magic of the disk began to gather in his right leg. Alchemy jumped into the air, adjusting his position in midair till his stretched out right foot was facing the monster. He started to spin creating a flaming whirlwind while rotating. And with this, he began to speed towards Napalm, speed growing the closer he got.

“Flaming Whirlwind Kick!”

As the attack connected a massive explosion engulfed the monster, Alchemy coming to a screeching hold several feet behind the beast, or what had formerly been the beast. A young boy with grey skin and a red mohawk now laying in his place. Next, to him, a strange lighter could be seen, it had the form of a flame and had red-orange colors with the motive of a lion engraved in its front. Phoenix stepped closer towards the strange lighter, his flame disc reacting to the unknown object.

“Seems you were no match for me.”


Kamen Rider Alchemy Finisher 1: Flaming Whirlwind Kick.

Yeah, that's our first finishing move. This is pretty much standard for Kamen Rider with the Rider Kick, a powerful kick directed at the monster, or other Rider depending on the fight. It's not always a kick, but this is pretty much standard. And yes, most of them do the whole call out their attacks thing, with the exception of Kamen Rider Kuuga interestingly enough.

And with Napalm down, Phoenix goes back to the Magnum Opus, where he is greeted with this:

“Answers! I need them! Now! Tell me everything.” She finally released the barrage of questions, visibly exhausted from being denied solid answers for so long.

Gee, I wonder if she wants answers.

Yeah, Phoenix wants to give the answers, but Thunder says that he'll probably forget some details. There's more bickering between the brothers, until finally Summer says that as entertaining as it is, she wants answers now.

“Fine, fine, I think you have waited long enough. But where to begin? Oh, I know, ever heard of the theory that there are more universes out there then just ours?” She nodded. “Well, that theory is true. At least for one, but bear with me this will sound crazy, Equestria, a world populated by talking ponies.”

Well, Ponies, Zebras, Griffons, Changelings, Dragons, Diamond Dogs... I could go on if I wanted.

“As much as I would say the same in your situation, no I’m telling the truth. It is a land of magic, monsters, talking ponies, unicorns, and pegasi. Our ancestor, a unicorn by the name Fools Gold, created the Magic Discs and the Alchemy Driver to create a Philosopher Stone by combining the five fundamental elements of magic. A Philosopher Stone supposedly can transmute every material into another one, can grant eternal life and many other things. He used the discs as storage devices for the elements and the driver as the focal point to concentrate them to create the stone.”

Okay, this gives us a good bit of explanation for the origins of the Driver. But more than that, it also gives us a rather clever bit of naming. Fool's Gold or Pyrite, was often mistaken for actual gold by alchemists. If you consider the traditional quest of the alchemists being for the Philosopher's Stone and everything, it fits perfectly into the story's meaning and symbolism.

Though I have to say, this is the weirdest remake of Full Metal Alchemist I've ever seen.

“No, our ancestor was a pony, however, the rest of our family, besides his wife and his children, are descendants of humans. We are more part human then we are pony, and since he lived over six hundred years ago, even these parts are so diluted that they are minuscule.” Thunder explained to her.

I mean, technically they'll be ponies if they just walk through the portal at any time since that's how it works. But yes, they are humans.

Speaking of portals Fools Gold was betrayed by his research partner Shadow Gold (clearly they were really thinking outside the box on these names). He used the Magic Discs to leave Equestria and wound up in the human world where Shadow couldn't follow. And then we get this hilarious line as usual:

“Sounds like a villain from a comic book."

Video belongs to... I guess Disney.

Unfortunately after arriving in the human world when Fools tried to recreate the Philosopher's Stone it blew up in his face and destroyed the discs he had. So the ones that Phoenix has are recreations of the originals that he's using to try and complete them, and eventually likely the Philosopher's Stone itself.

Though, two hundred years later things aren't going well because someone stole 12 of the discs. Geez, I can't imagine that ever being important. I'm totally sure it will never come up again. And of course, none of them actually know who stole them. Again, totally won't ever be important again.

Summer asks why Phoenix is the one who is holding the Driver and Discs. At this point their grandfather is way too old to actually travel around doing this kind of thing. Phoenix has become the guardian of the Driver and Discs because he is the eldest son... though now I have to wonder what would happen in a generation that didn't have any sons. Or what if the elder son couldn't have children to pass it to? Layton, answer this!

So yeah, needless to say Phoenix wasn't exactly picked for his talents. We learn that, as I said, the monster was a human transformed into a monster by a magical artifact. Summer then points out that this likely means that Phoenix will, of course, run out of the Pizzeria a lot in order to fight monsters. Pretty much the standard really if you think about it, not sure why more Tokusatsu heroes aren't figured out.

And we get the more important question really. As you may recall, I've been going into the history and origins of Kamen Rider in relation to our world. So, what's the origin of the name and Riders in this world?

Second question; Why Kamen Rider? I never heard the word Kamen before, what does it mean?”

“I don’t know. It was the name Gramps drilled into me to no end. Just seemed right to use it.” He tried to answer her question.

“It means masked. The word belongs to an ancient equestrian civilization. Fools Gold found the plans to the driver inside one of their ruins. Apparently, they had used the drivers for their warriors. They called them Kamen Riders. He thought continuing to use the name would be a sign of appreciation for their part in his research. So were that all of your questions, or have more pilled up?”

This is actually a rather interesting idea. I've adapted it into my own story, Kamen Rider Scarab as the origins for where the term comes from in Equestria. This could make an interesting story someday, you never know.

So yeah, Summer doesn't have any other questions at this point. He asks Summer not to reveal his identity to the police given he's, you know, a vigilante. Summer agrees, but, well...

“If you want no one to know you really should work on hiding your secret identity, you are awful at keeping it.” She snarkily replied.

Yeah... very few Kamen Riders actually go public with their identities to the point that more often than not they're considered urban legends. I personally find it a little unlikely that they would just be legends, especially with shows like Kamen Rider Drive and Ex-Aid, both of which are fairly public about the existence of Kamen Riders. And that's not going into the various other events throughout the franchise, trust me, I'm not buying it.

Summer agrees, even though she's not even sure that Phoenix can keep it to himself. Yeah, that's probably a legitimate concern given that he didn't even notice she was standing there.

That night however, we get the first of, yet another common trope in Kamen Rider. Villains talking!

“You imbecile, why did you need to make such a scene. You are going to draw the attention of the police on us. Next time I expected more professionalist mindset from you, not that of a sword-wielding idiot.” A voice, apparently coming out of nowhere spoke to the man.

“I’m sorry master, but he left me without any options. I asked him to give over the key, but he refused, and after that, he was beyond reasoning. I had to act quickly, or we would have drawn even more attention.”

“Fool. You didn't intimidate him enough, he saw you as weak. Be happy that your little exercise didn’t alert any police or worse Alchemy.”

“With all due respect, I can dell with this amateur, if this is what you wish me to do master.”

“No, you will not! Alchemy belongs to me, I want to fell the satisfaction when I ultimately crush him beneath my heels, and you will not take this away from me with your constant screw-ups.”

“As you wish my master.” The figure started to bow, even if there was no one beside him and the beaten man in the alley.

“Good. Now continue. I don’t want my servant to be caught next to a dead body.” The voice spoke a final time until the alley once again was dead silent.

With that, the figure left the alley. The light of streetlamp shined on him as he stepped out of the shadows. A man in his early twenties could be seen, his skin and black hair with red stripes in it now clearly visible. He wore a brown leather jacket with a white t-shirt underneath. A purple gem necklace was hanging around his neck. He looked around once to make sure no one saw him and started to move away from the crime scene. “Well, well, it seems things are starting to get interesting.”

Well, that's not ominous at all as a way to end things.

Final Thoughts

Okay, I already brought up the issues with the fic as having spelling and grammar issues. I give Layton a pass for this honestly, but I do have to deduct a point for not at least doing a spell check or getting an editor.

However this is definitely a good exposure to Kamen Rider for fans of My Little Pony who aren't familiar with the Japanese franchise. The mix of elements from both franchises works well, and it goes well from here. It's a good story, and if you can overlook the spelling and grammar issues, you can certainly enjoy it.

I also highly recommend watching Kamen Rider itself. You can find it subbed on a couple of websites. Its really a shame that it hasn't succeeded in America yet, but perhaps the day will come when the Riders come again. For now, we just have stories like this one.

Original Fic

Chapter 1: 4/5
Chapter 2: 4/5.

So, what is next? Again, we shall see because I still have no idea what my schedule is going to be.

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Comments ( 4 )

Uhm... I... What? Thanks...

Phoenix makes his way into Canterlot and passes by suburbs and a very familiar looking school where some students are outside already on a break. If I have any comment on this section is that he tends to focus a lot on details here that don't seem particularly relevant. While it does make the world feel more detailed, it also seems rather overdone. Not that big of a deal though.

Yeah, looking back on this now, I have to agree, not the best start I must say.

And, yeah, I gotta bring this up here. While Alchemy is a good story, it has a lot of typos such as ding table instead of dining. The story is good, but I honestly think Layton needs to get an editor, or at least a spell check. Sorry Layton, but I gotta be honest with you on that one, just work on it in the future.

Once again, yeah, I really have to get that in order, am actually trying to get startet on this.

I wasn't joking when I compared this to the Jungle Karma Pizzeria from Jungle Fury, Layton is a big fan.

Yeah, favorite season and I don't mind the sometimes rather obvious references.

This is as good a time as any to discuss the design aesthetic and inspiration for Kamen Rider Alchemy. Alchemy is in some ways an homage to Kamen Rider Kuuga, the first rider of the Heisei era. While many of Alchemy's forms are obviously different, there are obvious parallels to Kuuga's design including the use of the classical elements. But most importantly in this case is the design motif. Both Alchemy and Kuuga have a Stag Beetle motif:

Yeah, I make no secret of the fact that Alchemy is more or less Kuuga mixed with W. Primaraly because he is the first Rider of this world.

I'm fairly certain he means Flaming Heart of Justice... he tends to do that, gotta talk to him about it, but still, good title.

...Yeah, that has been fixed. This is kinda akward...

(in retrospect this may have saved a lot of trouble down the line)

cassually pushes this story in here

TPower Rangers Shadow Force
With the final year of Highschool on the way, the Shadow Bolts were already quite busy, but now a swarm of monsters threatens the city as well? Seems like things just got a bit more exciting. It's time that their resolve to change is put to the test!
Layton13 · 91k words  ·  17  1 · 621 views

Yeah, uh Phoenix, that's not a saber, its a katana. I guess its not the weirdest thing around and he could've just called it a Saber, but darn it its worth joking about!

Yeah, Phoenix isn't that smart and he sure as hell doesn't know what a katana is so he called it something "cool" and made a mistake because of that.

though now I have to wonder what would happen in a generation that didn't have any sons. Or what if the elder son couldn't have children to pass it to? Layton, answer this!

Sure. It would go to the closest family member of the curent guardian. Like the son of his brother or until a suitable guardian is found.

However this is definitely a good exposure to Kamen Rider for fans of My Little Pony who aren't familiar with the Japanese franchise. The mix of elements from both franchises works well, and it goes well from here. It's a good story, and if you can overlook the spelling and grammar issues, you can certainly enjoy it.

Well, thank you very much, that really makes me happy to hear. Especially the final score suprised me, especially since I can see a lot of things that definatly are questionable, but I'm still proud of the story all things considered.

5145835 Yeah, I wanted it to be a surprise. Admittedly I've always been kinda generous with my scores, but I was mostly going by story and characters, not just the spelling and grammar. This was kind of a test run review to get exposure for Kamen Rider among anyone interested in my reviews, thanks for being the test run, and I really enjoyed re-reading the chapters for it, I'll review it again somewhere down the line.

some of those kamen riders were power rangers

5146075 Kinda... I mean Masked Rider did get a crossover with MMPR (we don't speak of that), and Dragon Knight was basically the same type of adaptation. Then there's the occasional overlap with Sentai characters.

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